Post the pandemic, one of the key changes in recruitment practices has been to place the candidate in the center of the recruitment strategy design, given the scarcity of skilled talent and the tight competition in the talent market for top talent.
52% of candidates who were given feedback were more likely to continue a relationship with the company, per LinkedIn.
With proactive candidate engagement being one of the top hiring trends in 2022, it becomes critical to interface with potential candidates in a manner that gives them the best impression of the brand and also encourages them to refer the brand favorably to their acquaintances.
Let’s take a look at how to leverage interview feedback to curate a great candidate experience and to build a strong employer brand by providing constructive feedback to candidates with a structured interview feedback, review process and key strategies.
Interview feedback is the feedback received by the candidate after they interview at a company and while it can be provided at any stage in the hiring lifecycle, it is mostly provided when a candidate is rejected.
It consists of detailed notes on observations made by the interviewer or panel of interviewers on the candidate’s ability, both stated and demonstrated, based on the responses to queries posed during the interview. With a degree of subjectivity, the feedback provides a clear view of the candidate’s
Most companies follow standard templates and detailed guidelines on providing clear and constructive feedback to all the potential candidates, regardless of the outcome of the interview. These templates help create consistency in the interview feedback as well as the interview process, helping interviewers pose apt queries and focus on the right candidate traits.
Effective feedback leaves candidates with a clear understanding of their eligibility for the role and provides them insights on behavioral aspects that could prove detrimental to future interviews too.
Only 41% of job seekers have received interview feedback as against 94% who want to receive interview feedback, per LinkedIn.
Interview feedback makes candidates feel respected and valued, helping them ace further interviews by taking corrective actions, based on the constructive comments provided.
The candidates feel that the company is vested in their success, with a higher likelihood of them considering the company for any future opportunities. These potential candidates also help create engaged talent communities by referring the brand to other potential candidates, helping the brand attract top talent.
The process of providing interview feedback also helps inculcate a culture of providing feedback with the stakeholders involved, namely recruiters and hiring managers, helping them build strong relationships with their candidates and teams.
Interview feedback must be structured with clear feedback on all the important parameters of the role, starting with the key criteria of the role such as business, technical and leadership competencies.
Provide clear evaluation comments and rating against the key performance parameters of the role (technical, business or otherwise), with the rationale for the ratings. Provide a list of the questions that were posed with their responses and their approach to answering queries or solving posed hypothetical problems.
Objectively evaluate their interpersonal and communication skills against the requirements of the role. Clearly rate their articulation and listening skills as well as their ability to collaborate. This also helps to understand their cultural fitment and alignment.
Document the candidate’s responses and general behavior during the interview. Post the interview, review and strengthen with more examples and details. Provide as many details as possible around the interview and the rationale for the ratings to enable other stakeholders to take an informed decision on their fitment for the role.
Provide an unambiguous decision with rationale on the candidate being successful or unsuccessful for the role. If further rounds of interview are required for evaluating specific skills or to ensure proper fitment for the role, the details must be provided to the hiring team to proceed further.
If the candidate is not successful for the role they interviewed for but happens to be a good technical and cultural fit for another opportunity, details must be provided to the hiring team to ensure they are considered for the role. This helps improve the efficiency of hiring and helps the candidates feel valued and competent.
Provide feedback on the hiring process to the recruitment team to fix any glaring challenges such as inadequate screening or online assessment prior to recommending for an interview. Also highlight any issues that adversely impact the candidate experience.
Every organization has its own unique recruitment process that includes collecting feedback during interviews. Some organizations use digital collaboration tools, while others use conventional documents to capture this information. It is important to have a clear, objective, and unbiased process for recording and sharing feedback to help the hiring manager make a final decision. This should include clear examples and decisions based on the collected data.
A few points to consider when collecting feedback from all panelists are:
Ensure that all panelists are provided standardized feedback forms with the same questions and rating scale to evaluate the candidate. Request for detailed feedback and examples to substantiate ratings.
Segment the interview into different sections based on the evaluation criteria to allow panelists to rate the candidates in all the requisite skills for the role on a scorecard. Ensure that the rating scale is clearly delineated to enable interviewers to evaluate objectively and effectively, facilitating data-driven decisions.
Request for feedback from all panelists within 1 to 2 days of the interview to ensure that all the pertinent data is shared to help make a quick decision on the candidate.
Employ a centralized tracking system for the feedback and scorecards from all the interviewers such as ATS, CRM or an internal collaboration tool. Set clear expectations to ensure that detailed feedback is captured, both positive and constructive feedback with examples and without bias.
Hiring managers must request for as much detail as possible from each of the interviewers and review the scorecards objectively once received. They must reach out to each of the panelists in case of lack of clarity or examples and also for any bias detected during the interview or evaluation.
To take a final call on the candidate, the hiring manager can review all the feedback and scorecards received and take an objective view of their fitment for the role and alignment with the company culture. In case they require more discussions to arrive at the final decision, the hiring manager must hold a meeting with the panelists and ask relevant clarifying questions backed with data.
Effective feedback builds a strong bond with candidates and improves their experience, increasing their likelihood of joining the company. It should be direct, constructive, and delivered graciously and promptly. This not only benefits the candidate and company, but also improves the company’s brand image and reach as candidates refer others to the company.
Providing feedback as soon as possible after the interview or assessment is one of the most important elements of an effective candidate feedback mechanism. It helps you clearly communicate the candidate’s performance while it is still fresh in your mind as well as leaves the candidate with a favorable impression of the brand, regardless of the outcome of the interview.
It is important to provide clear and specific examples of the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement, rather than making general statements. This would help the candidate understand and improve upon certain aspects such as their body language or providing cohesive responses.
One must avoid letting personal bias or subjective opinions influence their feedback. Focus on the candidate’s performance and behavior, rather than making judgments about their personality or character.
Focus on providing feedback that is helpful and actionable, rather than just pointing out mistakes or shortcomings. Offer suggestions for improvement and support for the candidate’s development.
Treat the candidate with respect and dignity, even if the job is not being offered to them. Remember that feedback can be difficult to hear, so strive to deliver it in a way that is empathetic, respectful and professional.
As important as it is to provide direct and timely feedback, one must take the time and effort to engage better with unsuccessful candidates. Providing constructive feedback and tips to candidates for future interviews turns them into brand ambassadors and potential candidates for any other suitable positions in the future.
Requesting feedback from candidates is key to understanding and enhancing the candidate experience, especially if they have been unsuccessful at being offered the position. The raw and unfiltered feedback from candidates gives insight into what works and what really doesn’t, helping take quick and firm corrective actions. More importantly, soliciting feedback from candidates helps engage them better, get high quality talent as well as increase chance of referrals.
Honest and effective feedback, delivered courteously and promptly, helps preserve and enhance a company’s brand image and creates a great candidate experience. It serves to be a great tool to build long term relationships with potential candidates, enabling a proactive approach to talent acquisition. It also helps create a great brand impression upon other potential candidates, widening the brand reach.
Giving constructive feedback after an interview can be a valuable way to help the person improve and prepare for future interviews. One way to give constructive feedback is to focus on specific aspects of the interview, such as the person’s body language or the way they answered certain questions. It’s important to be objective and avoid making it personal or a criticism. Instead, provide specific examples of how the candidate could have responded or behaved when being interviewed.
For example, saying “We noticed that you seemed nervous and weren’t able to articulate your points well when asked questions regarding your previous project. This may have made it difficult for the hiring manager to gauge your skills and experience with such projects.”
A few examples of positive feedback after an interview are as follows:
1. You seemed to be well-prepared and confident in your responses
2. You were able to articulate your interest and passion for our Marketing Manager role
3. You seem to have managed your customers very well based on your responses to our questions on resolving customer concerns
4. You were able to demonstrate your expertise in the field with your responses to our queries
A few examples of constructive interview feedback are as follows:
1. While you gave clarity on the execution of the work, you weren’t able to provide clear details on the value you added to the planning of the work
2. You were able to demonstrate your expertise in managing your team well but could have provided more details on managing customer expectations
3. You showed strong expertise in coordinating with the different teams but seemed to struggle with articulating the overall business impact of the project
An interview feedback form is a document used to capture the feedback on a job interview from all the interviewers. It typically includes key evaluation criteria for a candidate with questions about the candidate’s qualifications, skills, experience, and their fit for the job.
The form is often used by hiring managers and the hiring team members to provide their thoughts and impressions of the candidate, and to help make a decision about whether to offer the candidate the job. The feedback from the form can also be used to improve the interview process and identify areas for improvement.
In order to clearly articulate the problem and its impact, the feedback must have the following elements:
“What went wrong” – Articulate clearly what went wrong with the situation
“What was the impact” – Clearly describe the impact or consequence of the situation
“What can we now do to fix it” – Describe and get agreement on the corrective actions to resolve the situation now and for the future